PBS To Launch 24-Hour Channel Just for Kids

PBS shows will be available live across a variety of streaming devices.

Daniel Tiger Goes to School
Daniel Tiger Goes to School.

PBS is launching a new 24-hour channel dedicated solely to its kids shows. The channel, which will be called PBS Kids, will be free and will be available online with a live stream. Currently PBS Kids exists only online where viewers can choose their shows. PBS will use the channel to broadcast popular shows already on its stations, like “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Odd Squad" and "Dinosaur Train”

The new PBS Kids channel will exist as a digital sub-channel of PBS. Viewers will also be able to watch the station streamed through pbskids.org and on the PBS KIDS Video App, which is available on a variety of streaming devices such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast.

The idea for PBS Kids arose, in part, because media is now an integral part of children's lives; children are watching programs all day, not just before and after school.

"Given that 54% of all children nationwide do not have the opportunity to attend preschool, providing access is a critical element of our public service mission," PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger said in a statement. "There are so many kids where on-demand is not an option, we want to be able to reach those kids.Parents know that PBS Kids makes a difference in their children’s lives, which is why so many have said they would value having access to our content throughout the day.

Television continues to be the most widely used platform for children’s educational content, especially among low-income families. The new PBS Kids 24/7 channel and live stream offered by local member stations ensure that educational media is available to all families, all the time and via a platform that works for them.

There are a lot of children, particularly that are home in early prime time, we aren’t able to accommodate them except for on-demand."

After its launch, the new PBS Kids stream will include educational games as well. The idea is that children will be able to switch back and forth between the show they are watching and an activity that extends and enhances their learning. PBS says research shows that the games will reinforce the educational ideals of the television shows. PBS Kids will arrive later in 2016.

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